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PhD Candidate Talks About the Physics of Space Battles 361

darthvader100 writes "Gizmodo has run an article with some predictions on what future space battles will be like. The author brings up several theories on propulsion (and orbits), weapons (explosives, kinetic and laser), and design. Sounds like the ideal shape for spaceships will be spherical, like the one in the Hitchhiker's Guide movie."

Submission + - Man Controls Cybernetic Hand with Thoughts (unicampus.it)

MaryBethP writes: Scientists in Italy announced Wednesday that Pierpaolo Petruzziello, a 26-year-old Italian who had lost his left forearm in a car accident, was successfully linked to an artificial limb that was neural planted in the median and ulnar nerves. He has learned to control the artificial limb with his mind. According to cnet, Petruzziello says he could feel sensations in it, as if the lost arm had grown back again.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10408139-1.html

Security

Submission + - The top ten security heroes (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: The media love to stick it to the IT security bad guys: the notorious hackers or the bumbling civil servants who put nothing more than a first-class stamp on a disc containing millions of personal files. But what about the little-known heroes of the security world? PC Pro's Top Ten Security Heroes are the people who have made the internet a (relatively) safe place to work, shop and communicate; the people who work behind the scenes to make sure our PCs aren’t stuffed full of malware. In short, the good guys.

Submission + - Offset bad code with Bad Code Offsets

An anonymous reader writes: Two weeks ago, The Daily WTF's Alex Papadimoulis announced Bad Code Offsets, a join venture between many big names in the software development community (including StackOverflow's Jeff Atwood and Jon Skeet and SourceGear's Eric Sink). The premise is that you can offset bad code by purchasing Bad Code Offsets (much in the same way a carbon-footprint is offset). The profit's are donated to Free Software projects which work eliminate bad code, such as the Apache Foundation and FreeBSD. The first cheques were sent out earlier today.
Patents

Submission + - Federal Appeals Court Tosses Spam Patent (patentlyo.com)

Zordak writes: Dennis Crouch's Patently-O is running a news item about U.S. patent 6,631,400, which has claims drawn to a method of making sure enough people get your spam. A federal district court had overturned the patent as anticipated, obvious, and not drawn to patentable subject matter. The Federal Circuit, the appeals court which hears patent matters, upheld the finding of obviousness, thus invalidating the patent.
Earth

Swarm of Giant Jellyfish Capsize 10-Ton Trawler 227

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that the Japanese trawler Diasan Shinsho-maru has capsized off the coast of China, as its three-man crew dragged their net through a swarm of giant jellyfish (which can grow up to six feet in diameter and travel in packs) and tried to haul up a net that was too heavy. The crew was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler. Relatively little is known about Nomura's jellyfish, such as why some years see thousands of the creatures floating across the Sea of Japan on the Tsushima Current, but last year there were virtually no sightings. In 2007, there were 15,500 reports of damage to fishing equipment caused by the creatures. Experts believe that one contributing factor to the jellyfish becoming more frequent visitors to Japanese waters may be a decline in the number of predators, which include sea turtles and certain species of fish. 'Jellies have likely swum and swarmed in our seas for over 600 million years,' says scientist Monty Graham of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama. 'When conditions are right, jelly swarms can form quickly. They appear to do this for sexual reproduction.'"
Businesses

Should You Break TOS Because Work Asks You? 680

An anonymous reader writes "My boss recently assigned me a project that was all his idea, with two basic flaws that would require me to break multiple web sites' Terms of Service (TOS). Part requires scraping most of the site, parsing the data and presenting it as our own without human intervention. While we're safe on copyright issues, clearly scraping like this is normally not allowed. At times it might also put a load on those sites. The other is, for lack of better words, a 'load balancing' part that requires using multiple free accounts instead of purchasing space and CPU time for less than $2,000 USD per month. The boss sees it as 'distributed' computing when in reality it's 'parasitic.' My question is: am I wrong about the ethics? If I do need to walk, how best can I handle it without damaging my reputation and future employment opportunities?"
The Internet

Free Online Scientific Repository Hits Milestone 111

ocean_soul writes "Last week the free and open access repository for scientific (mainly physics but also math, computer sciences...) papers arXiv got past 500,000 different papers, not counting older versions of the same article. Especially for physicists, it is the number-one resource for the latest scientific results. Most researchers publish their papers on arXiv before they are published in a 'normal' journal. A famous example is Grisha Perelman, who published his award-winning paper exclusively on arXiv."
Security

New Denial-of-Service Attack Is a Killer 341

ancientribe writes "Hacker RSnake blogs about a newly discovered and deadly denial-of-service attack that could well be the next big threat to the Internet as a whole. It goes after a broadband Internet connection and KOs machines on the other end such that they stay offline even after the attack is over. It spans various systems, too: the pair of Swedish researchers who found it have already contacted firewall, operating system, and Web-enabled device vendors whose products are vulnerable to this attack." Listen to the interview (MP3) — English starts a few minutes in — and you might find yourself convinced that we have a problem. The researchers claim that they have been able to take down every system with a TCP/IP stack that they have attempted; and they know of no fix or workaround.
Earth

Removing CO2 From the Air Efficiently 487

Canadian scientists have created a device that efficiently removes CO2 from the atmosphere. "The proposed air capture system differs from existing carbon capture and storage technology ... while CCS involves installing equipment at, say, a coal-fired power plant to capture CO2 produced during the coal-burning process, ... air capture machines will be able to literally remove the CO2 present in ambient air everywhere. [The team used] ... a custom-built tower to capture CO2 directly from the air while requiring less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide."
Patents

IBM Wants Patent On Finding Areas Lacking Patents 151

theodp writes "It sounds like a goof — especially coming from a company that pledged to raise the bar on patent quality — but the USPTO last week disclosed that IBM is seeking a patent for Methodologies and Analytics Tools for Identifying White Space Opportunities in a Given Industry, which Big Blue explains allows one 'to maximize the value of its IP by investigating and identifying areas of relevant patent 'white space' in an industry, where white space is a term generally used to designate one or more technical fields in which little or no IP may exist,' and filling those voids with the creation of additional IP."
Social Networks

Facebook A Black Hole For Personal Info 242

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times has an article on how Facebook is so sticky it is nearly impossible to get loose. While the Web site offers users the option to deactivate their accounts, Facebook servers keep copies of the information in those accounts indefinitely. Many users who have contacted Facebook to request that their accounts be deleted have not succeeded in erasing their records from the network. 'It's like the Hotel California,' said Nipon Das, a user who tried unsuccessfully to delete his account. 'You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.' It took Mr. Das two months and several e-mail exchanges with Facebook's customer service representatives to erase most of his information from the site, which finally occurred after he sent an e-mail threatening legal action. But even after that, a reporter was able to find Mr. Das's empty profile on Facebook and successfully sent him an e-mail message through the network. Facebook's quiet archiving of information from deactivated accounts has increased concerns about the network's potential abuse of private data, especially in the wake of its fumbled Beacon advertising feature."
Security

Fifth Cable Cut To Middle East 676

You may have noticed a number of stories recently about undersea cables getting cut around the world. Apparently the total is now up to 5, but the scariest part of this is that Iran is now offline. You can also read Schneier's comments on this coincidence. Update: 02/06 17:42 GMT by Z : As a commenter notes, though the country of Iran is obviously experiencing some networking difficulties, it is not offline.

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